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Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07
The Role of the Q Angle in Anterior Knee Pain
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Postural distortions can lead to numerous soft-tissue disorders. Clients with these postural challenges often look to the massage therapist to help with the pain or biomechanical challenges that result.In the lower extremity, a large quadriceps angle, more commonly called the Q angle, is a postural distortion involving patellofemoral biomechanics. An exaggerated Q angle can lead to knee pain and knee pathologies, as well as compensations in other regions of the body.1
The degree of the Q angle is determined by measuring two lines superimposed on the lower extremity. One line begins at the tibial tuberosity and continues in a superior direction through the midpoint of the patella. A second line connects the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) with the midpoint of the patella. The angle between these two lines is the Q angle (Figure 1).
There is a disagreement in the research literature about what constitutes an exaggerated Q angle. Some sources say a Q angle as small as 10 degrees can be a problem, while others say it is not an issue until the angle is greater than 20 degrees.2 A challenge with evaluating the Q angle's role is it's not easy to accurately measure the angle. However, repeated investigations have shown people with a larger Q angle have a greater likelihood of developing numerous knee complaints.
To understand how the Q angle contributes to knee pathologies, it's helpful to look at the anatomical relationships in the region. The patella is embedded in the quadriceps tendon. There is a ridge on the underside of the patella that must fit in the trochlear groove between the two condyles of the femur (Figure 2). The patella moves superiorly and inferiorly in this groove during knee flexion and extension.
The patella's ability to track straight in the trochlear groove is determined by the quadriceps' angle of pull. When the Q angle is greater, the quadriceps pull the patella in a more lateral direction. The unequal pull on the patella causes increased tensile stress on soft tissues around the knee. Too much lateral pull on the patella also can drag it against the lateral femoral condyle and eventually cause degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the patella - a condition known as chondromalacia patellae. Problems associated with the patella and its correct movement during flexion and extension are referred to as patellar tracking disorders. In addition to patellar tracking disorders, a larger Q angle also can be a major factor in patellar subluxation or dislocation, as well as anterior cruciate ligament sprains.
There is an increased incidence of these knee disorders in women and individuals with genu valgum. The Q angle is greater in women due to the wider pelvis, which places the ASIS farther away from the patellar midline, thereby increasing the Q angle. The Q angle also is greater in people who have the genu valgum postural distortion, more commonly known as knock-knees.
Because certain aspects of bony structure, such as a wide pelvis, determine the Q angle, it's difficult to alter the angle with soft-tissue work alone. However, treatments such as massage are helpful for addressing some of the factors that aggravate Q angle problems. For example, an imbalance in tightness between the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles can contribute to patellar tracking disorders. If the vastus lateralis is too tight, it can pull the patella farther in a lateral direction. This situation often occurs in people with a larger Q angle. Comprehensive massage treatment of the vastus lateralis can reduce the distance it pulls the patella in a lateral direction.
There are numerous causes of anterior knee pain. Several of these can be related to an excessive Q angle. It's not necessary to pull out the protractor and determine the exact Q angle. However, a visual estimation of the Q angle can give important clues about the role this postural distortion plays in a variety of pain complaints. In those cases, massage treatment of the quadriceps muscle group and the retinacular fibers around the patella greatly helps reduce the detrimental results of a large Q angle.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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